Archive for the ‘Guide’ Category

Hi folks,

Hard to believe I wrote this guide over 4 years ago now. Nearly 200,000 guide views later, this site is still getting quite a bit of traffic. I know the post below spells this out pretty clear, but it begs reminding:

This guide was written in a different era of black ops combat in Eve. Jump range was terrible, fitting was tragic, jump fatigue was merely a twinkle in greyscale’s eyes and the MJD didn’t exist. If you do decide to read this guide, keep all of that in mind. The meta is different, the game has changed. Most of my instructions just don’t make sense in today’s Eve.

Searching for Answers

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Bridging, EVE Online, Guide

For not posting much lately, this blog is still gets quite a few daily hits. I’m always interested to see what my site stats are up to — mostly search keywords.

I’m going to look at three of the most common search phrases that lead to my blog and do my best to answer what it is the phrase is looking for.

Without further ado:

  1. how long is the training for black ops in eve?

First off, if you’re even remotely interested about working out training times, EVEMON is a must have. It’s a great program for checking how long it takes to train for anything in the game, ships/skills/mods/prints.

Concerning getting into the ship and using the fits I’ve given in the past, I started with a fresh character to check the training time. With remapping your attributes and plugging in +5 implants, it will take ~200 days to train (aka 7 months). That’s quite a bit of training, but you probably have a lot of necessary support skills already trained up or nearly trained.

       2. black ops bridging in eve

Opening covert bridges is an essential part of being a Black Ops pilot. The whole idea behind bridging can be a bit confusing, so let’s walk through everything together.

First thing we need:

Jump Portal Generator Eve Online Black Ops
Jump Portal Generator – This takes up a high slot and is actually a “passive module”, which means that when you fit it, you don’t click on the module icon (Like a gun or MWD). It just exists — sort of like a shield extender or plate. (Remember, you need Astrometrics 5  to use this)

Once you’re in space,
right click on your capacitor and you’ll notice a “Bridge To” option above “Set Name”:
Bridge Black Ops EVE Online
Things to note about bridging and this image:
  1. The first thing you will notice, if you belong to an alliance that has Cyno Generators in multiple systems, you’ll have the option to bridge to any of the Cyno Generators your alliance has. *I blacked out the specific systems next to the words, but each option will usually region.  They will be listed like “HED-GP (Cynosural Generator Array)
  2. When somebody in your gang lights a cyno, it will appear at the top of this list showing their name and the system the cyno is in. An example: “Phatstabley (Rancer)
  3. Cynos and Cyno Generators will show up in this list, regardless of them being in range. Always make sure that you are in range of your intended destination – more on this soon.
  4. Notice how 3 spots above “Bridge To” is “Jump To” – Don’t mix these up.

Worst. News. Ever.

Next Step: Bridging and Fuel

Your hunter lights the cyno, you go to “Bridge To” and find the guy, you click on his name and a giant black cloud envelopes your ship. At this point the connection has been made between your Black Ops and the destination cyno.
  • Everyone who plans on jumping through needs to get within 2,500 meter of you (just like a gate), they need to right-click on your ship and choose the option to jump to the destination system.
  • Ships jumping through consume fuel from your fuel bay.
  • Opening the portal doesn’t consume any fuel
  • Your portal lasts 20 seconds
  • You can only portal people as far as you can possibly jump. If you only have Jump Drive Calibration IV you can jump 4 Light Years and bridge only 4 light years.
As your fleet members jump through, your fuel in the fuel bay will be consumed depending on what kind of ships go through, how they’re fit, and your Jump Fuel Conservation Level. Generally speaking, from lowest consumption to highest – Bombers > Transports > Recons > T3**. (If you’re bridging bombers, you can move a lot of them on one load of fuel, but it’s best to be near a can if you’re different flavors of ships. (Make sure nobody is MWD’ing to get in range of you, MWDs make a ship’s mass practically explode and it will consume a lot more fuel if they jump through with they’re MWD on)

**T3’s can only go through if they have the covert subsystem fit to their ship.

(end of bridging question…that was long, sorry)

       3.  fuel bay black ops

Black Ops Battleships have a dedicated fuel bay that is 1,000 m3. You can fill your fuel bay with 6,666 of your racial isotopes. Make sure to fill your empty cargo hold space with isotopes. Your fuel bay is similar to a cargo hold, you can open it in space and add more isotopes. (Like bridging, right click on your capacitor and choose “Fuel Bay” to access it)
A smart idea concerning your fuel bay. If you’ll be jumping around, have everybody coming on your gang bring some of your racial isotopes with them in any extra cargo hold space they have. When you jump in to the destination, drop a can and have people dump their fuel into it – mobile refueling without the transport!

——————-

That’s it for now.

Bomber Gangs

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Black Ops, EVE Online, Guide, PVP

Bomber gangs are a fun, low-barrier gang that utilize your Black Ops’ bridging ability. I would dare say the majority of your alliance/corp mates have the ability to fit and fly at least one of the stealth bombers.

I think of bomber drops sort of like bubble camps, either A) you’re doing it because you’re bored and don’t want to make 50 round-trip jumps to shoot stuff or B) You know of a specific target rich area that will reward you for your patience (maybe an evac in progress and you just wait for the haulers to hit the low-sec gate) Bomber drops are very similar, but usually produce better results. With dedication and some patience, you can usually haul yourself a really shiny or expensive kill with little overall effort.

Let’s look my favorite casual bomber gang comp from the ground up – The JB SURPRISE PARTY! (And possibly CYNO GEN PARTY!)

Gang Composition

Very straightforward here. The more bombers, the better you’ll do. Let’s look at a good set up:

1-2 Scouts – (Out of Alliance scouts will make this entire endeavor more fruitful)
20 Bombers
1 Black Ops
1 Transport Ship (Optional)
1 Return Cyno (or just bridge the fleet back using one of your Cyno Gens if you have them)

Obviously, you might not be able to get 20 guys to join up for a bomber gang. You either love these things or you hate them. (You very well may end up sitting and chatting it up on Comms for two hours before you score a good kill.) The more the merrier, but I probably wouldn’t take less than 12 bombers.

Fits

There are 2 rules for the JB Surprise Party fleet that can never, under any circumstance, be broken!

Rule #1: Afterburners only – NO MWDs

Rules #2: No Bomb Launchers – don’t even bring them, offline launchers are a waste of a slot.

Now that we have that in your head. You don’t need to worry about fits, per se. Just make sure fits are SAM fit: Siege Missile Launchers, Afterburner, Medium Shield Extender. To be honest, after those, the rest is just icing. You’d really like a nice mix of Target Painter, DPS mods, Long Points, Damps, etc. (You know that extra high slot you have from not fitting a bomb launcher? Fit a covert cyno if you are skilled up / otherwise fit an offline small remote armor rep for post battle fixes)

Scouts should be in a bomber. Recons/Cov Ops are useless here, since they have a targeting delay after decloaking. You’ll watch your prey warp away before you can get a point. 99.9% of the time the bomber will die because the POS will finally lock it and dispatch your stationary little ship.

You can fit your Black Ops for gas can work seeing as you won’t be engaging anything with it. Load up on cargo expanders and you can probably live without the transport ship.

Where to go

Pretty obvious here. Having an enemy jump-bridge map makes life super easy, but it’s not totally necessary. Check out Dotlan and specifically look for your enemies border systems. Typically, you’ll find JBs near nullsec-empire connections or near the edges of their region. Definitely look at your enemy’s home systems, too!

Knowing where JBs connect gives you the added bonus of being able to have scouts on both sides of the bridge. Knowing what is jumping through and what’s on the other side gives you time to ready your gang. 

Open your ingame map and change the Filter to “Active Cyno Fields”. Disregard the blue dots, these represent ship cyno’s that, unless you have intel, will probably be a waste of your time. (More on this in another post) The other Dots are active cyno generators. Go to those systems. More often than not, where you find a Cyno Gen, you find a JB. And hopefully twice as many targets.

What to do

Place the scout about 10km above or below the JB. (Make sure not to be within 7,200 meters of any JB or Cyno Gen as you may be decloaked by your target on jump in.)

20 bombers will easily do 6,000 raw DPS. So depending on your gang size, you might not want to bust your cover to kill and iteron mk. 5 passing through. Wait for tasty treats like Carriers/Rorqs/Jump Freighters/Freighters/Stupidly pimped faction Battleships

When you gang loads grid:

1) Immediately pull secondary points and begin anchoring with your AB on. — Your afterburner is utterly essential to your survival if the POS has small (and even medium) guns. I typically have members set orbits @ 10k before we enter.

2) Shoot

3) Loot

4) Cloak

4A – Targeted by the POS? warp off. Pointed by the POS? Keep orbiting with your AB on until it switches (overheat if you’re taking damage) Then warp off.

5) Somebody set a safe spot, and bring in the Black Ops to bridge home

Things to remember

1) When a ship jumps through a JB or Cyno beacon, it’s completely invulnerable to you until its session timer runs out. Make sure the scout has the “Velocity” column on his overview, the moment you see him move, decloak and point.

2) When the cyno is lit on the bomber, the POS will take about 20-30 seconds to lock and begin firing.

3) Don’t orbit your target, have an anchor pre-determined for everyone to orbit. If your orbiting the target when he dies, your ship will stop and you’ll get one-volleyed by the POS. (Typically, the anchor will orbit the JB/Cyno Gen, or handle keeping an orbit up when the target dies)

So there you have it. I wrote quite a bit, but these fleets are great when you just want to relax and get some hilarious kills. You may lose a bomber or two on the POS, but you’ll get a nice kill out of it.

So maybe I lied about when I was going to get around to writing this. Sue me.

I’m not going to write a linear story of how to fly a Black Ops. Rather, I’m just going to point out some good tips to remember when using them.

Pre-Flight Checklist

  1. Going gang or going solo?
    – Select your fit accordingly and if you’re running with a gang consider having reps/rep drones.
    – If you’re running the gang, ask for fittings to be linked in fleet. I’m not a fitting warrior, but if it’s my gang — your fits need to be acceptable. (Black Ops aren’t super easy to fit, people tend to take too many liberties sometimes or fit a ton of faction crap to make it seem ok)
  2. Cynos/Fuel
    – Make sure you’ve got a fuel bay of fuel.
    – Consider bringing a Transport ship alt if you’ll be trekking.

The Waiting Game

  1. Don’t sit in a POS
    – The only reason your Black Ops should ever go into a POS is to grab some fuel from a can you may have there. Don’t have your gang sitting on the Black Ops at a POS. The only time you ever decloak is to shoot/bridge/jump. Don’t give free intel away. Black Ops fleets and bomber drops get killed because they get baited after being seen. Don’t give easy intel.
  2. Be wary of fleet member locations
     You should always be aware of your fleet composition and the location of the members. If someone is not in your system or docked up somewhere and they’re not one of your scouts. They get booted. end of story.
  3. Have a preset plan from your scouts. Don’t start your gang then fire up your map. Check Dotlan for 1hr/24hr jumps and ratting histories. Learn jumpbridge locations and routes. Camp them.
  4. Don’t wait for fights to come to you. If a system is slow or people have docked up, move on and come back later. Camp a jumpbridge for 2 hours if you like, but if you don’t gank something awesome, don’t expect 20 bombers to show up to your next gang. (Edit: ENEMY POS + BLACK OPS = DEAD BLACK OPS — you bridge bombers on to a pos)

Shooting Stuff

  1. Unless you have a solid plan or like expensive thrills — Black Ops are for ganking. Remember that the 600mil + ship you are flying is, for all intents and purposes, worse than its t1 counterpart. Don’t get into a fights unless you have a plan well laid out.
  2. It’s better to cyno in close to your target than far away.
  3. Best cyno ships = Rapier >= Arazu > Pilgrim > Falcon > Bombers > Covert Ops (Rapier/Arazu are a roll of the dice situational. Arazu can point 5 guys no problem at 75KM while the Rapier can point and web in the mid 30’s (using RF disruptor) — your choice)
  4. So you found a target? Sweet, light the cyno and get your Black Ops in there to kill it.
    – Rule #1: Before doing anything – Black Ops should align to a celestial. Being able to GTFO is more important than ganking that t1 fit Apoc.
    – Rule #2: Rep your cyno/friends
…more to come when I become less lazy.

If you haven’t yet, read part 1.

You’ve purchased your Black Ops of choice and are sitting in the hangar staring at a blank fitting screen. What to do? To be honest, other than the Sin, Black Ops are pretty simple to fit. You basically fit them like you would a gank BS, except for certain fitting limitations.

*You’re going to see a bit of faction/deadspace stuff on these fits. Absolutely feel free to downgrade to T2 if you’re not comfortable dropping more isk than you already have. Just remember: You’ve spent a lot of isk on a ship that needs all the help it can get, I highly recommend you don’t skimp on fittings. They don’t need to be super pimped, and none of these fits really are, but a little extra spent will go a long way in the field.

Let’s take a look at some setups: (All EFT ready)

Panther

[Panther, Gank PANTHER]
Damage Control II
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
Republic Fleet Tracking Enhancer
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Gist C-Type 100MN Microwarpdrive
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Invulnerability Field II
Invulnerability Field II

Dread Guristas Cloaking Device
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
800mm Repeating Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP L
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Large Core Defence Field Extender I
Large Core Defence Field Extender I

Ogre II x5
Vespa EC-600 x5

Nothing better than gank and tank. This bad boy can push out 1,000 DPS and ruin the day of an active tanker with the Dual Neuts.

Redeemer

[Redeemer, Gank Redeemer]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Regenerative Plating II
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Dark Blood Heat Sink
Dark Blood Heat Sink

Cist C-Type 100MN MicroWarpdrive
Dread Guristas Warp Disruptor
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
True Sansha Heavy Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 800

Dread Guristas Cloaking Device
Mega Pulse Laser II
Mega Pulse Laser II
Mega Pulse Laser II
Mega Pulse Laser II
Mega Pulse Laser II
Mega Pulse Laser II
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I

Berserker II x5

Over 900 DPS, and a solid tank. Issues here will be range, so make sure you’ve got a full range of ammo types in the hold. Ideally, your covert cyno will have the target pinned down so you won’t need to be racing all over the place to apply damage. You’ll want to hit your Booster as soon as you’ve begun applying DPS.

Widow

[Widow, Never Along]
Signal Distortion Amplifier II
Signal Distortion Amplifier II
Signal Distortion Amplifier II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
ECM – Spatial Destabilizer II
ECM – Phase Inverter II
ECM – Ion Field Projector II
ECM – White Noise Generator II
ECM – Multispectral Jammer II
ECM – Multispectral Jammer II

Dread Guristas Cloaking Device
Cruise Missile Launcher II
Cruise Missile Launcher II
Cruise Missile Launcher II
Cruise Missile Launcher II
Heavy Energy Neutralizer II
[Empty High Slot]

Large Particle Dispersion Projector I
Large Particle Dispersion Projector I

Vespa EC-600 x5

You’ll notice the Widow really isn’t gank fit. To be honest, I can’t fly the Widow and the only time I see the widow really shine is with more than one Black Ops or a whole gang of bombers/recons/T3’s. I went with an “armor” tank because I love having a ton of jams and a decent scan res.  Check out some BC fits if you’re looking to do solo work with it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Sin

[Sin, Lord and Savior]

Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Armor Explosive Hardener II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Domination 100MN MicroWarpdrive
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
True Sansha Heavy Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 800
True Sansha Heavy Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 800
ECCM – Magnetometric II
ECCM – Magnetometric II

Dread Guristas Cloaking Device
Large Energy Transfer Array II
Large ‘Solace’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction
Large ‘Solace’ I Remote Bulwark Reconstruction
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Drone Link Augmentor I
Covert Jump Portal Generator I

Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I

Hammerhead II x5
Ogre II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Warrior II x5
Vespa EC-600 x5
Hornet EC-300 x5
Medium Armor Maintenance Bot II x5
Medium Shield Maintenance Bot II x5

Mr. Sin here isn’t going to be holding anyone down, but that’s not the primary role in this case. On Jump in, you’ll probably be repping up your covert cyno from the barrage of damage he’s taking from your intended target. You can actually apply some decent DPS with the ogres out, with the Sin’s bonus you’re looking at around 400 DPS. Typically, I’m repping whoever is taking damage and keeping my eyes out for force multipliers at range (Falcon, Curse, etc) to throw drones on to get them off the field. After the fight, you can touch up the cap on other Black Ops to get them jump ready and you can be the bridge home. Jack of all trades right here.

———-

So there we are. Those are all fits you can start out with and keep for life. (Though, you may decide to go  Shield on the Widow) Hopefully you’re starting to connect the dots between what we saw when discussing the basics of each ship to how they are fit.

Have your own fit you like more or has worked well? Toss it up in a comment and let me know why you love it. I’d love to see some other interesting fits.

Stay tuned for Part 3: Flying my Black Ops (or maybe better termed as, Hotdropping people with my Black Ops)

(Updated July 2013)

The guide is by no means completely definitive or final. I’ll make changes as I go; however, I’ve had a lot of people asking for more information. I will publish this in pieces, trying to go through it in the order in which you will. I’m going to answer as many questions as possible with this guide.

Part 1: Getting There

Black Ops are skill intensive. With a niche tactical role, there is no wonder why it’s one of the least used ship classes in the game. I’ll take you through as much as I can, in a chronological order. So let’s start with skills.

The Skills


Prerequisite Skills:

Racial BS V
Cloaking Level IV
Electronics Level V
Jump Drive Calibration Level IV
Jump Drive Operation Level V
Navigation Level V
Warp Drive Operation Level V
Navigation Level I
Science Level V
Spaceship Command Level V
Black Ops Level I

The first you thing you see? If you’re a carrier capable pilot, you’re already very close to flying your racial Black Ops. These are simply the skills that get you into the ship. I’m not going to get into the true “secondary” skills that are necessary (Drones, ECM skills, Large Projectiles, Engineering, Shield, Armor, etc. etc.) as they are fairly obvious. However, let’s look at the other skills that are pretty important, especially for gang work.

Additional Necessary Skills:

Jump Drive Calibration V – There’s no getting around this. It’s not like you and your carrier. You really can’t live without JC5. Don’t be that guy who shows up to the gang and has to ask if the hunting is in range for JC4. The Black Ops got a nice boost to it’s range so you don’t want to hinder yourself. It’s a long train, but very well worth it.

Astrometrics V – Without it, you can’t use the Covert Jump Portal – aka you can’t bridge gangs around. While you can rely on others to do the bridging, the ability to do them is necessary to be a well-rounded pilot.

Jump Fuel Conservation IV-V – JFC5 is great, but 4 will do if you’re just that lazy. The fuel bay is an issue with Black Ops, so the higher your skill, the less refueling you need to do.

Black Ops IV – Why only level 4? Again, 5 is great but 4 will suffice. The bonus is worth it on some of the ships to go for 5, but not always. If you have the time, train it.

————

The Ships

Ok, you’re trained up and ready to make your purchase. This decision will either be easy (You only have the skills to fly one) or tough (you can fly many). Which Black Ops to choose? Good Question. The 4 Black Ops ships can be broken up into 3 classes, DPS, Jamming and Other. Let’s take a look at each one and drill into their strength and weaknesses. I’ll start with the DPS class first:

DPS

Redeemer

Redeemer Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
~10% reduction in large energy turret capacitor use and5% bonus to large energy turret rate of fire per level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~7.5% bonus to large energy turret tracking and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level

Panther

Panther

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to large projectile turret rate of fire and 5% bonus to large projectile turret damage per level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to velocity and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level

The Panther and the Redeemer as the two true “DPS” ships of the class. At the most simple level, the Panther is the easiest choice if you’re looking for straight forward, gank dps. The Panther has an 8/5/6 layout (5 turrets) while the Redeemer is 8/4/7 (6 turrets). Notice the Bonuses to the ship. To even get into these ships you need Racial BS 5, so you’ll get the maximum upgrade to those bonuses. Lazors love to eat your cap on Amarr BS, which is typically a big downfall. With a 10% reduction in Cap use on the guns per level, a lot of the problem is mitigated. Still though, you need to remember, when you jump to the cyno to fight, you’ll use 70% of your cap just to jump. Pray your in range with your cyno because you won’t have good enough cap to be MWD into range.

The Panther, while missing the 6th turret, gets two great bonuses to it’s Minnie BS bonus – 5% ROF and 5% Damage. Awesome! And firing capless guns to boot!

~~~~~~

Jamming

Widow

Widow

Caldari Battleship Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to cruise and siege missile launcher rate of fire per level
~10% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo velocity per level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~30% bonus to ECM target jammer strength and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level

The Widow is probably the most straight forward of the Black Ops — it’s a spiffier looking version of the Scorpion. The ship is great for jamming out the enemy and applying some decent DPS. 7/8/4 (5 launchers) layout provides a decent option to go standard shield fit or for an armor fit with fleet jamming capabilities.

Skip the Kaikka’s Jammers, I know they look cool, but you really don’t need them.

~~~~~~

Other

Sin

Sin

Gallente Battleship Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to large hybrid turret damage per level
~10% bonus to drone hit points and damage per skill level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to agility per level and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125%
The Sin used to be terrible – before CCP decided to fix hybrid weapons. I originally relegated this ship to the “Other” category because,

“…it actually makes a great logistics platform and flying gas can for bridging. First and foremost, a logi Sin is pretty awesome. 400m3 drone bay (125m3 bandwith) gives you 5 Heavies out at once – and plenty of options for damage and RR drones. Be a lifesaver when you rep your mates and cap up other BO’s so they’re ready to jump on the fly.”

While Logi-Sin is still incredible and well-worth the expense, you can realistically fit a Blaster Sin, for full-on gank. You can pump out over 1,000 DPS with CN Antimatter on Neutron Blaster Cannons + 5 Ogre IIs.  (Just remember, you need webs to hold down your target) So rather than the sin being relegated to the “Other” category due to it having a lame role, it’s now here because it’s a multi-faceted ship that can wear multiple hats.

Conclusion

As you can see, the ships have varying degrees of utility for each situation. They can all apply DPS, just some better than others. If you’re rolling solo, you need to be very careful. These are battleships that don’t really outclass their t1 equivalent in damage. Black Ops require selectivity. The surprise is on your side when you light that covert cyno, but if you’re alone, make sure you know you will win before clicking jump.

I’ll discuss solo and gang fits for each of the ships in the next installment and how to best use the utility of each ship.

~~~~~~

Stay tuned for part 2 on Sunday: Fitting your shiny new ship